Selling on about 11 times 2013 holdings consumer packaging giant Rexam looks a solid long-term investment, given the prospects of further cash returns, the Times's Tempus column wrote last night. That follows the company's announcement on Wednesday that the company is set to return 395m pounds to its shareholders. More importantly, analysts say that as much as 1.1bn pounds could be returned to investors over the next three years, taking in this payment, normal dividends and strong free cash-flow. As well, the company may divest its specialist packaging unit for medical products as that offers no appreciable synergies with the cans side and would seem to be non-core. The drivers for further growth are a move towards higher-margin packaging for energy drinks and further recovery in South America.
Dechra's latest trading statement reveals that first-half revenues, stripping out the effects of Eurovet, were down by 2.4%. That was due, in part, to the reshuffling of its distribution networks in France and Germany following the purchase of Eurovet, in the Spring, and the need to boost production of a canine treatment in the US. In spite of that, Dechra shares
have been strong performers since the spring, up by almost 50%, and are probably due a pause. But they look like a good long-term bet on a market that can only keep growing, Tempus believes.
In early December Cineworld announced the acquisition of Picturehouse, the UK's largest independent cinema operator, in a deal which valued the chain at £47.3m on a cash and debt-free basis. In order to part fund the purchase, Cineworld placed 6.4m shares, or about 4.5% of the group's equity before the deal, raising £15.68m. As this deal should be earnings- enhancing, the dilution for private investors is not really a concern. Indeed, the future upside looks attractive. Currently Picturehouse operates from 21 sites and is a more "arty" experience than attending the traditional multiplex. Its venues include the Clapham Picturehouse and the Brixton Ritzy multiscreen theatres. There are 10 more Picturehouse sites already planned and the founder of the business, Lyn Goleby, will continue to run the operation as a separate business within Cineworld.
The core Cineworld multiplex operation is also in a growth phase. Cineworld plans to open about 25 new complexes by 2017, which could boost earnings by up to 40%, analysts have calculated. Future growth is also likely to come from Cineworld's increased focus on its customer relationship management. The shares are trading on a 2013 earnings multiple of 11.99 times and yielding 4.7%. Despite sitting a touch below their all-time high, Cineworld shares remain a buy, the Telegraph's Questor team says.
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